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Are you a victim of childhood emotional neglect? If so then I would like to ask for your experience!

 

Only recently I found out about all the symptoms of childhood emotional neglect. I could relate to every single one of them. Symptoms include feeling like something is missing, cutting off from ones emotions, low self-esteem, being easily discouraged and more. Literally every single one of them fits to the way I would express myself. I just find it incredibly hard to believe so I don't know what to do next or how to heal. Because I doubt myself so much I find it hard to believe childhood emotional neglect is even real. I'm not sure about it because I don't have any clear memories of this happening...

 

So my question is mainly: how did you recognize what had happened in your childhood?

 

What were your experiences back then and what do or did you experience later in early adulthood?

 

Is there any way to heal from all this by yourself or do you really need therapy to get over these bumps?

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This has very specific social criteria. It's a very serious allegation, which often results in children being removed from the home. Where your parents drug addicts or leave you alone for days at a time or fail to provide food, shelter or clothing? Did you go to school with head lice and dirty clothes and no food?

 

It's not the other way around where general symptoms, which could represent a multitude of conditions or causes, is backtracked to then say "oh this is the cause because this has my symptoms". The best thing to do with these feelings is to get help from a therapist and directly address this, rather than retroactively search for a cause.

feeling like something is missing, cutting off from ones emotions, low self-esteem, being easily discouraged and more. Literally every single one of them fits to the way I would express myself.
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Childhood emotional neglect is not the failure to provide basic needs such as food or shelter. I have always suffered with my mental health and it was by finally seeing a psychiatrist that CEN was diagnosed and then lots of things about how I feel and how I view things suddenly made sense. If you are deprived of affection, care, kind words etc, if your safety is given no importance, if your feelings are denied or mocked, if you never know when your parent (or other significant care-giver) will be back, if they did not support you, put you down, made other things their priority... these are examples of emotional neglect which can cause problems in later life. Have a look at https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2017/07/7-signs-you-grew-up-with-childhood-emotional-neglect/ and Google Dr Jonice Webb for more information.

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Have you sought therapy for this?

 

Rather than asking random strangers on a message board, it would be best to seek out a professional who is an expert at this. Google this, and find the best therapist in your area who works on childhood issues.

 

I am not trying to turn you away from this board, but rather to a very well-trained professional who can truly help you sort this out.

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I understand. Perhaps the best thing for me would be to visit a psychiatrist then. I was only wondering if more people had this experience because I find it hard to believe. I'm just not sure about it and I need certainity so perhaps a mental health professional could help me investigate...

 

Thanks for all your replies!

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Make sure you find a qualified licensed therapist. Why not see a doctor first for a complete physical to make sure everything is in order there and ask for a referral? Keep in mind many quacks make up "repressed childhood memories" to scam you. So go to a general licensed, board certified therapist rather than anyone "specializing" in this.

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I was a victim of CEN among other abuse from my mother and her boyfriend. I'll spare everyone the details but here is one example: if I fell and got hurt, my mother would tell me God is punishing me because she wasn't able to see everything I did wrong (keep in mind I got hit almost hourly) and she would just leave me there to bleed and take care of it myself. This has been a life struggle for me and I have had to go for therapy more than once. So my recommendation is to get professional therapy. Just my two cents.

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I've been in and out of therapy due to this.

 

And no, you don't remove children from their home or call CPS over it.

 

My parents are good people, but came from a generation that didn't have the best parenting skills.

They provided very well for my brother and I, yet were pretty much hands off emotionally and otherwise.

 

As a result both my brother and I have struggled with interpersonal relationships.

 

Therapy has helped me tremendously. That and learning some tools.

 

Raising my own sons taught me alot about empathy, connecting intimately and emotionally. It wasn't until I became a mother that I had any clue that I had missed out on so much as a child.

 

How do you heal it? I don't think that loss is ever totally healed, but it starts with acknowledgment, grieving and alot of time and patience. Read up on attachment theories and styles and you will find yourself there. There is a great book `Attached' that my therapist recommended. For me, it just took a lot of uncovering memories and connecting the dots to figure things out.

 

You pretty much have to re-parent yourself. No one else can do it for you.

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My parents are good people, but came from a generation that didn't have the best parenting skills.

They provided very well for my brother and I, yet were pretty much hands off emotionally and otherwise.

 

As a result both my brother and I have struggled with interpersonal relationships.

 

This was really helpful! I appreciate you for typing this out because I can relate to this. My parents also came from such generations and my relationships have been a struggle to maintain. I also feel like I'm way behind in life because I just seem to be unable to connect with anyone on an emotional level.

 

Why not see a doctor first

 

I already did actually. The doctor sent me to a psychologist. At first she thought I was simply not willing to move on in life. She did not see a real problem but I do, so I was put on the list for a psychiatrist. I am now waiting for their invitation for an intake.

 

Once again I appreciate all your replies! They are very helpful.

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Ok good your saw a doctor and your health is in order. See what this second opinion/psychiatric consultation reveals. If you you are not feeling well for whatever reason or cause, you did the right thing getting a thorough evaluation.

The doctor sent me to a psychologist. At first she thought I was simply not willing to move on in life. She did not see a real problem but I do, so I was put on the list for a psychiatrist.
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